SOME few years since, the author was engaged to draw up a
brief and impartial introduction to the History of Ireland.
His performance was published under the title OUTLINES, &c.,
and met with the cordial approbation of all parties. The re-
ception was such, that he may unhesitatingly confess he felt
it creditable to the integrity of his purpose, and the judi-
ciousness with which he executed it. One of the severest
of the English reviewers qualified his praise of the Outlines
no further than by saying--" it is impartial, with a slight Irish
leaning;"—in the absence of which leaning, little confidence
could be placed in the historian.
That book has been thought too condensed even for schools,
where so many historical works enter into the curriculum. It
has been made the basis of, and incorporated with, the present
one, which has attained its much greater size by the intro-
duction of a greater number of events, or a more ample view
of those previously given,
The clearness of style and arrangement has been carefully
followed. Above all
, the original honest intention and mo-
derate temper have been rigidly preserved. It is the writer's
aim to produce an Irish History, “ candid and conciliating-
honest and inoffensive-fit for youth and age—for the school,
the study, and the drawing room--and undefiled by a single
trait of religious or political asperity."
That the reader may, with little trouble, be able to form a
notion of the pains that have been bestowed on the execution,
may refer to some of the leading passages selected for the
pages of CONTENTS. Let the censor who may be disposed to
conceive them too ambitious for so small a production, reflect
how poor and dry the Catilinarian War would be without the
characters and the speeches.